The RASCI chart is a planning tool. This means that you should use it at the very beginning of a project once you have determined its size and scope and your project team.
The meaning of each of the letters is as follows:
R = Responsible (the person who must ensure that the task is completed)
A = Approval (the person/s who must sign off on the task)
S = Support (the person/s who can help/facilitate in the execution of the task)
C = Consult (persons you can turn to for expert information and advice: technical, administrative,
legal, marketing, instructional)
I = Inform (persons or groups who must be kept up to date on what is happening in this task).
Every step requires an R. Many steps require an A, S or C. I is only noted if someone requires information on the project tasks but plays no active role (e.g., a managers, external stakeholders).
Download RASCI Form Template (Word Document)
Let’s have a look at each of these roles in greater detail:
R – Responsible (Project Manager)
The R is the person who responsible for leading and delivering the project and is accountable for the quality of the decisions and delivered work. The R ensures everything is done up to the point of approval before handing the project back to the A for sign off. The R produces an overall plan for the project and gets advice from the nominated people and delegates work to others to complete. They communicate with stakeholders as necessary including reporting on progress. In project management terms the R would be the project manager.
A – Accountable (Manager)
The A gives approval so that work can progress and gives final approval. Work can’t be started or a decision actioned until the A has approved it. A is not totally hands-off. They are not there just to provide a rubber stamp. They are accountable for the quality and timeliness of R’s work. The A provides direction and sets overall terms of reference for the project and coaches the R and gives them feedback. The A oversees the implementation of the project and is ultimately accountable for it. They will want to know that the project stays within the agreed limits and achieves the objective and they integrate the project with other tasks, processes and projects. In project management terms the A would be the manager or sponsor.
S – Support
The S’s are the people who do the work or who delegate work to others. They have the expertise, resources and knowledge to support the delivery of the project. S’s may provide analysis and data required for decision making. An S will typically manage a project ‘work stream’ and the resources allocated to it. Before the work starts they will agree time-scales for completing the work and have input to and sign-off of when the work is complete. They provide information to the R throughout the project either informally or formally through progress reports or meetings and highlight issues and risks to the R and offer suitable solutions. There can be more than one S for a project and S’s tend to work independently from each other, however, they will need to liaise so they must get on with one another (sometimes in pressured situations).
C – Consultants
The C’s are the Consults who are specialists with expertise to contribute to the quality of decisions. They must be able to add value to the defined project and their input must be obtained before any decisions are made. Th C must be someone who has a vested interest in the outcome of the project and whose buy-in is needed for the final implementation. There are likely to be several C’s within a piece of work and when asking for their input you should give them a time-scale within which to respond. The R will listen to the views and advice of the C’s but can choose to accept it or reject it. The R will consider the views of the C’s but the R will make the decision.
I – Informed
The I’s are people who need to know about the decisions made and actions taken but do not need to be involved in the decision making process. You inform an I after a decision has been taken not before the decision is made. If you inform them before the decision is made they have the opportunity to comment on the decision and become involved in it. They then take on a C or S role which is not the role they were given.
Example RASCI (Moving Office)
In this case the project has four key tasks. The first task design of the new office space, is the project managers responsibility. They may need the ultimate approval of their manager who is the A in this case.
The project manager made delegate responsibility for the purchase of new furniture so in the second event line the facilities manager becomes the R and the project manager becomes the A. The senior manager does not need to be involved in this case so they become an I.
The installation of cabling is a task which only the IT department can take responsibility for, so naturally they are the R in this case and the project manager remains the A. For the final event, the office move, the project manager must take the role of the R.
To summarise, a RASCI helps to define roles at all levels of a project. The time taken in the project planning stages to clarify roles and responsibilities can save much confusion and frustration during the implementation phase of the project and will ensure the overall success of your project.